In the discussion at this month’s Mahasangha, we examining the Metta Sutra, the Teaching on Loving Kindness. In part I said:
we do not reserve metta (loving kindness)for some and withhold it from others. The practice must be directed to all beings. In fact, this reminds us that our practice is for the service of all beings, not just humans, or people we like, or everyone in Canada. It calls us to serve and work for the liberation of all beings, humans and animals. Even in the world-view of that time it would include beings in the hell-realms, in the heavens as well. Metta begins with recognizing our inclusion in the vast universe of existence, and as with the Vow that has come to define Mahayana Buddhism, we vow to liberate all beings, in all times, in all spaces.
We also acknowledged that metta practice is, like nembutsu, is at once the simplest and most difficult of practices. The instructions are minimal and it does not require any particular location, preparation or equipment. On the other hand, it requires we have the sincerity, faith and determination to reach deep into our own hearts and direct our most heartfelt intentions for the benefit of others.
To see the whole talk on the Metta Sutra, click the link above